Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What's A Gospel Brunch?

My daughter suggested I'd love to try a Gospel Brunch. I envisioned large, robed ladies belting out traditional Baptist hymns while I tried to swallow down a buffet of breakfast, lunch and dinner (that's NY style) and everyone getting up and swinging ans swaying yelling Halleluia!

Wrong.  Well, maybe there is one like that somewhere, but Gospel Brunch at Strange Brew in South Austin was a lovely, relaxed, Sunday spiritual experience.  The Purgatory Players perform every Sunday from 11-1. The setting is a darkened coffee house where they have a large selection of coffees and teas, milk choices (Hemp milk, anyone?), breakfast tacos, pastries and an amazing sandwich menu. 

Jeff Plackenhorn explained that the regular Purgatory Players were down three members on the particular Sunday that I was there - one was on the road, one was sick and one was playing elsewhere - so they had guests Stan Smith (pictured on the right, who sounds a lot like Dylan and plays on Tues and Wed. at the Elephant Room) and Dave Scher (on the left) who had the voice of an angel and finger picking that was utterly amazing.

The group played a mixture of Bluegrass and folk and, as Stan put it, "old hippie music."  I would have never been able to have figured out that they didn't play regularly together. Everyone got their solo time and there was even some guest performers from the audience. I finally got to see a performance "the Austin way" with popular artists who stopped by to see the show, joining in the fun.

The show benefits the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas and Jackie, a representative from the Food Bank got up and shared how every dollar donated is matched by local companies and becomes $5. in essence.  She related how the Food Bank feeds folks from 21 different counties and that one in every four are children.  They are always looking for volunteers. 

The Gospel Brunch takes place every Sunday morning from 11-1 at Strange Brew. This show benefits the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Give it a try and I believe you'll be glad you did. 

PS Photos were shot with natural light 1/60, f2.8 at 6400 ISO.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Shooting a Birthday With Some Challenges

I have to say, I have the best job in the world - getting to shoot all kinds of fun events where people are happy and celebrating and generally looking their best.  A five year old birthday party at the brand new Austin Aquarium  sounded, at first, like the perfect gig.  Brooklyn is a beautiful young lady who I had photographed before so I really looked forward to her party.  The only problem was, the Aquarium was dark, over crowded, and the children were far more interested at looking at the fish tanks than my camera, leaving me with only their backs to photograph.

But this is where being an experienced photographer comes in handy.  I was prepared with the proper lighting set up - my flash on a bracket to give plenty of light and prevent red-eye - and a battery pack on my hip so that the flash would fire continuously.  I was able to get to the opposite side of the tanks most of the time, to try and capture the awe of seeing these bizarre sea creatures.

The Aquarium provided opportunities where the kids could speak to an expert and even get to touch and feed some of the critters.

But, best of all is capturing the reason why everyone was assembled - to celebrate Brooklyn's turning 5. So, I was able to get shots with her Mom and with her friends, which, after all, was the most important part.

Brooklyn had a "Frozen" themed party and her group of friends were all happy to be there and enjoy the pizza and cupcakes and birthday fun.  Knowing my lighting and being ready for the most important moments help me capture the special memories at Brooklyn's birthday party.  These treasured moments go so fast - it is so important to catch them and reminisce with them.

I am available to shoot all kinds of events. Please remember me when you are celebrating something - a retirement, engagement, birthday, First Communion, Anniversary.....any of life's precious moments.  See more of my work at chriscina.net.

 Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if YOU have any photographic challenges!